My Mother Is a French Fry: And Further Proof of My Fuzzed-Up Life

Colleen Sydor, Author . Kids Can $17.95 (255p) ISBN 978-1-55453-183-7

Eli's free-spirited mother is embarrassing enough—she even enjoys dressing up in a French-fry costume for her job at a fast-food joint-—but when she discloses that she is pregnant, 15-year-old Eli finds the news “humiliating.” Even the most sympathetic readers may find Eli's reaction extreme, until a somewhat belated revelation: for almost 10 years, Eli has been secretly harboring guilt for an infant sister's crib death. Despite the poor timing, however, this is a funny and tender story, and Eli a touching heroine. She sends up unusual prayers, like one to “Aloysius Gonzaga, patron saint of mortified teenagers”; replaces hard consonants in swear words with the letter “z”; making for a narrative peppered with “fuzz” and “shiz”; and even weaves her horror over her mother's pregnancy into a school essay about Jane Goodall. She's also forthright with her anger, as when she accuses her boyfriend and best friend of crushing on each other (these characters, too, are wonderfully original). A predictable, tidy ending mars the book only slightly. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/14/2008
Release date: 08/01/2008
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 255 pages - 978-1-55453-184-4
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